CLEVELAND - Kyrie Irving stepped into Quicken Loans Arena for the first time since he became public enemy No. 1 in Cleveland on Tuesday.
The former Cavaliers' point guard will play his first game as a Boston Celtic in the NBA season opener Tuesday night.
Irving spoke with reporters after arriving at The Q late Tuesday morning, but dodged specifics when asked about his request for a trade that ignited a summer of drama during the offseason.
"This was literally just a decision that I wanted to make solely based on my happiness and pushing my career forward," Irving told reporters. "I don't want to pinpoint anything. I will never pinpoint anything because that's not what real grown-ups do."
News that Irving had requested a trade surfaced in July. Those rumors were accompanied by reports that Irving had gone days without speaking to his teammates and various social media posts in which fans speculated Irving was taking shots at LeBron James. A month later, Irving was traded to Boston in exchange for Isaiah Thomas, Jae Crowder, Ante Zizic and the Brooklyn Nets' unprotected 2018 first-round pick.
Irving spoke fondly of the Cavaliers' memorable 2015-16 championship season, noting how special that squad will always be to him.
"I know most teams say, 'We're bonded forever,' but that couldn't be more true," Irving said.
Irving also gave love to Cleveland, despite remarks he made a week ago, calling Boston a "real, live sports city."
"I'm always truly grateful for them welcoming me with open arms and making sure that me and my family were always supported," Irving said of Cleveland. "Ultimately my love will never change that I have for Cleveland."
The Cavaliers and Celtics tip off their NBA season at 8 p.m.
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